Skip Navigation
Stay Up-to-Date:
Skip Navigation

About Our Region

REL Southwest serves five states: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. These states span more than 565,500 square miles and include the nation’s fifth- and second-largest states in area, New Mexico and Texas. Across this vast region, approximately 14,000 schools and 2,300 local education agencies serve more than 7.6 million students. These schools and districts face several challenges, among them above-average percentages of students living in poverty, English learner students, and students performing below grade level in core content areas.

Student Race/Ethnicity. The diversity of the region’s students reflect the area’s rich history and proximity to Mexico. Hispanic students lead public school enrollment, both for the region as well as in New Mexico and Texas. In Arkansas, the majority of public school students are White, while Louisiana public schools are fairly balanced between White and Black students. New Mexico and Oklahoma also have significant American Indian populations.

Locale. More than half of the region’s public school students live in and around metropolitan areas, including some of the nation’s largest and fastest growing cities. At the same time, the region’s percentage of rural students is higher than the national average, ranging from 25 percent in Texas to 51 percent in Oklahoma.

Students

7,600,755
Schools
Number of schools
14,067
Local Education Agencies

2,372
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

58.6%
English Learners
English Learners
14.2%
Special Education
Special Education
10.4%
Graduation Rate

87.0%
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
33.6%
Black
15.2%
Hispanic
42.6%
American Indian/
Alaska Native
2.1%
Asian or
Asian/Pacific Islander
3.6%
Two or more races
2.8%
Students

493,447
Schools
Number of schools
1,090
Local Education Agencies

279
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

34.5%
English Learners
English Learners
8.4%
Special Education
Special Education
13.6%
Graduation Rate

88.0%
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
61.3%
Black
20.6%
Hispanic
12.7%
American Indian/Alaska Native
0.6%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
2.4%
Two or more races
2.4%
Students

716,293
Schools
Number of schools
1,404
Local Education Agencies

183
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

63.0%
English Learners
English Learners
3.2%
Special Education
Special Education
11.6%
Graduation Rate

78.1%
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
45.1%
Black
44.0%
Hispanic
6.3%
American Indian/Alaska Native
0.7%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
1.7%
Two or more races
2.3%
Students

336,263
Schools
Number of schools
869
Local Education Agencies

157
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

71.3%
English Learners
English Learners
13.4%
Special Education
Special Education
15.3%
Graduation Rate

71.1%
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
24.1%
Black
1.9%
Hispanic
60.8%
American Indian/Alaska Native
10.2%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
1.3%
Two or more races
1.7%
Students

693,903
Schools
Number of schools
1,792
Local Education Agencies

547
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

62.3%
English Learners
English Learners
6.7%
Special Education
Special Education
15.8%
Graduation Rate

82.6%
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
49.4%
Black
8.8%
Hispanic
16.8%
American Indian/Alaska Native
13.9%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
2.3%
Two or more races
8.8%
Students

5,360,849
Schools
Number of schools
8,912
Local Education Agencies

1,206
Free & Reduced Priced Lunch

58.9%
English Learners
English Learners
17.2%
Special Education
Special Education
8.9%
Graduation Rate

89.7%
Student Locale
Student Race/Ethnicity
White
28.1%
Black
12.6%
Hispanic
52.4%
American Indian/Alaska Native
0.4%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander
4.3%
Two or more races
2.2%


Data sources:
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Local Education Agency (School District) Universe Survey Directory Data," 2016–17 v.1a; "Local Education Agency (School District) Universe Survey Membership Data," 2016–17 v.1a; "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey Directory Data," 2016–17 v.1a; "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Directory Data," 2016–17 v.1a; "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Membership Data," 2016–17 v.1a; "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Staff Data," 2016–17 v.1a.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Education Demographic and Geographic Estimates (EDGE), "Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe - Geographic Data," 2016–17. EDFacts Data Groups 695 and 696, School year 2016–17.

Notes:
The percentages of students by race/ethnicity, students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, students with individualized education programs, and students with limited-English proficiency programs were calculated by using total number of students from Common Core of Data (CCD).